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Beginning School

U.S. Policies in International Perspective

Richard M. Clifford Gisele M. Crawford Leslie R. Williams

160 pages
Teachers College Press
The United States is at a pivotal crossroads in determining the educational experiences of children aged 3 through 8. To help educators set goals and design effective policies, early childhood experts Clifford and Crawford provide a concise history of early education and care in the United States and invite readers to consider early schooling in a global perspective. Distinguished scholars from five countries that value early education as an integral part of life-long learning—France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and Sweden—examine the evolution of early childhood practices in their countries. Providing invaluable insight and guidance as we move toward fully serving children and families in our schools, this volume: Identifies common themes and challenges among six economically advantaged countries, and contrasts their different approaches to educating young children. Features international contributors that identify the critical issues and decisions from their own countries’ perspectives. Describes the social forces that are leading the United States toward universal access to school beginning at age 3. International contributors: Véronique Francis (France), Michael Gaffney (New Zealand), Inge Johansson (Sweden), Hans-Guenther Rossbach (Germany), and Reiko Uzuhashi (Japan)
Author Bio
Richard M. Clifford is Senior Scientist and Gisele M. Crawford is Research Specialist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.